The second annual ‘Be a Star’ rally to be held at Old Trafford coincided with National Anti-Bullying Week and World Kindness Day.
Wes Brown took to the stage to introduce WWE superstars Dana Brooke and Ember Moon and the trio spoke to the audience of year 7 pupils about different types of bullying, how it has affected them in their careers, where to go for support and what to do when encountering a bully.
“Playing football things get said about you every week,” said Wes. “Sometimes it hurts, but talking about bullying gives you the confidence to go and tell someone if it’s happening to you. It’s great to be here and meet all the kids, you can see a lot of them have had an experience with bullying, but hopefully we can help them and they don’t have to be scared.”
Participants from Manchester United Foundation partner schools attended the event and enjoyed the chance to get up close to the stars.
Brett, a pupil from Co-op Academy Swinton, said, “They taught us about four types of bullying: verbal, relational, physical and cyber bullying. The main one is cyber bullying and it’s just not nice. If I see someone getting bullied I should do my best to stop it, or inform someone about it.”
Pupils even had the chance to attend WWE’s Monday Night Raw event at Manchester Arena ahead of the workshop. Brett was one of the lucky few and said, “The show last night was really good because I got to see something that I never thought I would see. The wrestlers were amazing and some of the moves were incredible.”
During the rally, WWE Superstar Ember Moon said, “When I was younger I was bullied so it’s very important for us as athletes to use our platform to deliver the Be A Star rally, which aims to raise awareness and let kids know that there are positive ways to counteract bullying.”
Fellow wrestler Dana Brooke added, “The kids were amazing today; they were so interactive and phenomenal and the questions they had for us were so intelligent.”
Brett summed up the day by saying, “I’m a big United fan and a huge WWE fan; it’s amazing to be here today and to get the chance to meet the wrestlers and Wes Brown - he’s a fantastic person.”
WWE’s Be a Star campaign aims to ensure a positive and equitable social environment for everyone regardless of age, race, religion or sexual orientation through grassroots efforts beginning with education and awareness. “Be a STAR” promotes positive methods of social interaction and encourage people to treat others as equals and with respect because everyone is a star in their own right.